National Green Tribunal: When was it established & how does it work?

What is National Green Tribunal? Understand its structure

The National Green Tribunal was established in the year 2010 by the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. India is only the third country to have such a system after Australia and New Zealand.

Why was the act enacted?

It was enacted with the purpose of-

        Expeditious disposal of cases that relate to environmental protection

        Reduce the pressure on courts for litigation on environmental matters

        Speedy environmental justice

        Conservation of natural resources

        Enforcement of legal rights related to environment

        Giving compensation and relief to person or property for damages


What is the guiding principle of NGT?

It is guided by principle of natural justice. It is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

The NGT has to dispose a case within 6 months of it being filed.

Where is the NGT based?

The main or principal place of sitting for the tribunal is New Delhi.

The other places of its regional branches are- Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai.

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What is the structure of NGT?

It consists of a Chairperson who is a retired judge of Supreme Court. The current Chairperson is- Retired Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.

It also consists of Judicial members and Expert Members.

The Judicial members are retired Judges of High Court and Expert members are those with a professional qualification and minimum 15 years of experience in the field of environment, conservation and related subjects.  


The NGT can hear cases relating to the following Acts-

  1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
  3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
  4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
  6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
  7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002

However, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the Indian Forest Act, 1927 do not fall within the purview of NGT. 

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