National Green Tribunal’s Role and Contributions

Jul, 15, 2019

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

News

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to examine a legal question whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT), established to deal with cases pertaining to environmental issues has the power to take cognizance of a matter on its own.

About National Green Tribunal

  • The NGT has been established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • It aims for 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 the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It has Original Jurisdiction on matters of “substantial question relating to environment” and & “damage to the environment due to specific activity” (such as pollution).
  • It follows principles of Natural Justice.
Jul, 14, 2018

NGT to hear pleas via videoconference

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Indian Polity | Statutory, regulatory & various quasi-judicial bodies.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: New proposals, NGT

Mains level: Issues related to quasi-judicial bodies.


News

To tackle staff shortage

  1. Due to non-availability of the members, petitioners from across the country with environmental concerns, have been forced to approach the principal Bench in Delhi.
  2. With no recent appointments to the regional Benches in Kolkata, Chennai, Pune and Bhopal, the NGT has been functioning with less than one-third of its sanctioned strength of 20 judicial and expert members.
  3. In a bid to tackle vacancies at the regional Benches of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the green panel is set to start hearing matters of the other Benches via video conferencing.
  4. Once hearing through video conferencing begins, the disposal rates will hopefully improve.

Preventing “denial of justice”

  1. Travelling to Delhi for every hearing is not a feasible solution and leads to huge financial loss.
  2. However, petitioners who are in a desperate situation have no other option but to approach the Principal Bench. This is an outright denial of justice.
  3. Even though video conferencing has its own limitations, through this people can probably get access to justice, even if for an interim period.

Back2Basics

National Green Tribunal

  1. The National Green Tribunal has been established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  2. It draws inspiration from India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  3. It aims for 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 the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  4. It has Original Jurisdiction on matters of “substantial question relating to environment” and & “damage to the environment due to specific activity” (such as pollution).
  5. It follows principles of Natural Justice
Feb, 10, 2018

SC stays new Tribunal Rules

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Statutory, regulatory & various quasi-judicial bodies.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Central Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities Rules, 2017,  National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, Finance Act, Central Administrative Tribunal

Mains level: Issues related to quasi-judicial bodies


News

Provisions not applicable

  1. The Supreme Court has effectively stayed the applicability of provisions of the Central Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualification, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017
  2. These rules gave the government primacy in making key appointments to tribunals, including the National Green Tribunal
  3. The new rules were framed under the Finance Act of 2017

NGT appointments

  1. The terms and conditions of service of members of the National Green Tribunal shall be governed by the provisions of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

For CAT appointments

  1. The court has been pushing for an interim arrangement to be arrived at in respect of the composition of the committee appointing members to key tribunals
  2. The court accepted the formation of an interim search-cum-selection committee in respect for appointment of both judicial and administrative members to Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)
  3. The panel includes the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal, and two secretaries nominated by the Government of India

Back2Basics

Central Administrative Tribunal

  1. With a view to easing the congestion of pending cases in various High Courts and other Courts in the country, Parliament had enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985
  2. The Central Administrative Tribunal has been established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto
  3. In addition to Central Government employees, the Government of India has notified 45 other organizations to bring them within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal
  4. The provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 do not, however, apply to members of paramilitary forces, armed forces of the Union, officers or employees of the Supreme Court, or to persons appointed to the Secretariat Staff of either House of Parliament or the Secretariat staff of State/Union Territory Legislatures
  5. A Chairman who has been a sitting or retired Judge of a High Court heads the Central Administrative Tribunal
  6. There are 17 Benches of the Tribunal located throughout the country wherever the seat of a High Court is located
Dec, 05, 2017

Centre passes notification, allows NGT to form one-member benches

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Note4students

Mains paper 2: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Prelims level: National Green Tribunal
Mains level: Issues faced in NGT/tribunal functioning; Autonomy of tribunals

News

  1. Centre has passed a notification allowing the NGT chairperson to “constitute a single-member bench” in “exceptional circumstances.”
Issues in NGT functioning
  1. At present, the regional benches in Chennai and Kolkata are both functioning with one judicial member each and the expert members have retired.
  2. The expert member in the principal bench in Delhi is expected to retire later this week.
  3. Instead of the government taking the time to fill up vacancies, it is now attempting to reduce the bench to a single-member.
  4. This may not hold water as a notification cannot amend the principal Act.
  5. The essence of the NGT was to have both “technical and judicial” members. Otherwise, the tribunal will function no differently from a high court.
  6. Vacancies also affect the institutional memory which are important to keep the continuity in hearing cases.
Earlier Rule Change
  1. The NGT Act, 2010, made it mandatory for the NGT chairperson to be a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of High Court
  2. Rules made earlier this year: even a judicial member or expert member for three years is qualified to be a chairperson of the NGT.

Back2Basics

National Green Tribunal
  1. The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  2. Members: full time chairperson, judicial members and expert members. Judicial and Expert Members: 10 minimum and 20 maximum in each category.
  3. has Original Jurisdiction on matters of “substantial question relating to environment” and & “damage to environment due to specific activity” (such as pollution).
  4. Follows principles of Natural Justice
Nov, 25, 2016

[op-ed snap] Building better buildings

  1. Background: NGT ordered an environmental audit of all government buildings in Delhi, including offices and hospitals, to control pollution
  2. The country has vague certification programmes for green buildings
  3. Current scenario: They do not take into account local conditions
  4. No mechanisms to ensure that structures that claim to be environmentally friendly adhere to the green building yardsticks
  5. NBC does not incorporate green standards, which means that it is not incumbent upon a builder to make environment friendly structures
  6. NBC does not include water or material efficiency standards
  7. Three green building certification programmes in the country, ICGB rating, GRIHA and LEED, are not products of government initiative
  8. LEED was developed by non-profit US Green Building Council while the ICGB and GRIHA are independent platforms, endorsed by the ministry of new and renewable energy
  9. State governments give incentives like permission to increase the built-up area to the builgibgs that abide LEED, etc.
Dec, 02, 2015

NGT asks Centre on policy to move old vehicles out of city

  1. The NGT asked the Centre if there was any policy for transferring old vehicles from Delhi to other cities that are less polluted.
  2. It emphasised that vehicles be transferred only to places with high dilution of air as it did not want to create another Delhi.
  3. In 2014, the NGT had suggested moving out old vehicles from Delhi as it banned those older than 10 years in the city.
Oct, 27, 2015

NGT is empowered to order govt for banning old vehicles

  1. The SC said the tribunal is empowered to issue directives to the Centre for banning vehicles more than 15 years old from plying on Delhi roads.
  2. It held that NGT can exercise the powers of judicial review and examine the validity of notifications passed under different laws.
  3. It recalled a judgment by the tribunal in July 2014 which declared the NGT to be a court, holding that it has all the trappings of a judicial body.
  4. Earlier, in April, the NGT had issued a fresh ban on all diesel vehicles more than 10 years old from plying in the NCR.
Sep, 17, 2015

Only biodegradable Ganesha idols can be immersed : NGT

  1. NGT passed a series of directions to make sure Yamuna is not choked with hazardous chemicals during the festive season.
  2. NGT directed that only bio-degradable material idols would be allowed for immersion and not plastic/ Plaster of Paris.
  3. Immersion of idols puts a load on the rivers and can defeat revitalisation plan of the NGT, if the civic agencies concerned do not keep a check.
  4. The Delhi govt. has also been asked to provide mobile toilets/ bio-toilets at these sites.
Sep, 04, 2015

Ban on plastic packaging of food, drugs: NGT seeks Centre view

  1. The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and various stakeholders to file their submissions on a proposal that there should be a complete prohibition on the use of plastic packaging in food and pharmaceutical formulations of any kind.
  2. The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by NGO Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society seeking restrictions on the use of plastic bottle and multi-layered, plastic packages or pet bottles by imposing a ban on packaging of carbonated soft drink.
  3. It also noted the submissions by the NGO which had referred to the minutes of the 70th meeting of the Drug Technical Advisory Board held on August 18.

The NGO contended that it has been clearly established that certain pharmaceutical preparations packaged in PET bottles upon testing showed presence of chromium, antimony, lead, etc at room temperature.

Jul, 15, 2015

Stagger office hours to cut pollution: NGT

NGT mooted the idea of variable working hours for the government and private sector to reduce vehicular pollution in the Capital during peak hours.

Jul, 14, 2015

NGT to take a call on banning diesel vehicles

  1. NGT had earlier extended the deadline on Govt’s request regarding implementation of NGT order of banning 10 year old diesel vehicles from plying in NCR.
  2. Govt. is also mulling on options like restricting the number of cars to one per family.
  3. Levying congestion charges on vehicles registered outside Delhi.
  4. Increasing registration charges, and a uniform vehicle taxation policy for NCR to discourage private vehicles.
Jul, 12, 2015

NGT fines hospitals and malls in Delhi

Fines were imposed due to failure in installing rainwater harvesting systems despite orders issued earlier by the green panel.

Apr, 25, 2015

NGT adds armour for protection of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park

  1. The CAG report titled “Performance audit of Kaziranga National Park – Issues and Challenges” raised issues of encroachment by commercial ventures.
  2. The report points at rampant construction and parking on vast stretches of contentious NH 37 passing through KNP.
  3. Non declaration of the ESZ for such a long period of time had a direct bearing on such activities detrimental to the well being of animals.
Apr, 22, 2015

Green tribunal’s thumbs up for waste-to-energy projects

  1. Gave a nod to use incinerator technology for producing Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), commonly known as waste-to-energy.
  2. Only those wastes that are found unrecyclable after segregation should be put into the incinerators.
  3. NGT, however added that, first effort should be made for composting of wet waste.

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