National Green Tribunal upholds a fragile balance

By Ranjana Roy Gawai and Shailesh Suman, RRG & Associates
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India is only the third country, after Australia and New Zealand, to have a dedicated environmental court with wide jurisdiction. Keeping India’s spirit and commitment towards the UN Conference on the Human Environment, 1972, in Stockholm and UN Conference on Environment and Development, 1992, in Rio de Janerio, India enacted the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995, and established the National Green Tribunal (NGT) under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.

NGT replaced the National Environment Appellate Authority, which was set up in 1997 to review administrative decisions on environmental impact assessment. Decisions of the authority could be appealed to a high court and the Supreme Court of India. To avoid this host of litigation, NGT is the forum for all civil cases that involve substantial questions related to environment, subject to appeal only to the Supreme Court.

Specialized body

NGT is a specialized body for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. Its dedicated jurisdiction includes enforcement of legal rights relating to the environment, and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and restitution of ecology and environment.

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Ranjana Roy Gawai is the managing partner and Shailesh Suman is a team leader at RRG & Associates.

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