The Supreme Court has agreed to examine whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has the power to take cognisance of a matter suo motu (on its own).
- Established in 2010.
- Established under National Green Tribunal Act 2010. Consequent to enforcement of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 and the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 have been repealed.
- It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
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- Effective disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of natural resources.
- Enforcement of any legal right relating to environment.
- Giving relief for damages to persons and property for related matters.
- Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible.
- New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal.
- Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four place of sitting of the Tribunal.
- The NGT Act, 2010 provides for a Chairperson and a minimum of 10 Expert Members and equal number of Judicial Members.
- The Tribunal has the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
- The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
- The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
- The Tribunal has the original jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment, including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment is involved.
- Appeal against any order of the Tribunal shall lie to the Supreme Court.
Source: The Hindu