The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has officially been notified today by the Chairperson of the Tribunal, Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta. Justice Panta took charge of his office yesterday here.
The National Green Tribunal is exclusively dedicated to environmental issues. This Body, established by an Act of Parliament (being the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010) will have circuit benches across the country to try all matters related to and arising out of environmental issues.
The Tribunal which shall also consist of members, who are experts in the field of environmental and related sciences, has been empowered to issue directions for the compensation and restitution of damage caused from actions of environmental negligence. In doing so, this is the first body of its kind that is required by its parent statute; to apply the polluter pays principle and the principle of sustainable development.
Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests (I/C) said, “T he erstwhile National Environment Appellate Authority seizes to exist with the launch of NGT. All the functions will be transferred to NGT. After Australia and New Zealand, India has this important institution. The NGT will follow various decisions of the Supreme Court and 186 Reports of the Law Commission. There are 5000 cases today in various High Courts and District Courts today.” The Minister also declared that other expert members of the NGT will be appointed shortly. The NGT will have 10 expert members. The Minister also declared that National Environmental Protection Authority (NEPA) will be constituted soon. Shri Ramesh added that NGT and NEPA will constitute the pillars of reformed system of Environmental Governance.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests also intends to organise workshops in rural areas to educate people about issues of access and procedure related to the NGT in a few weeks time.