OBJECTIVE: 1. Expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
2. Enforcement of any legal right related to Environment
3. Giving relief and compensations for damages to aggrieved persons.
4. To implement the decisions made at the UN Conference of Human Environment (1972, Stockholm) and UN Conference on Environment and Development (1992, Rio de Janerio aka Earth Summit), to which India was party. The decisions called upon states to take necessary steps to protect and conserve environment; and to provide judicial redress for victims of pollution and environmental damage.
5. Right to healthy environment is considered part of Article 21 of Right to Life.
JURISDICTION: The Tribunal will have jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment is involved. The Tribunal has all the powers of a civil court (summoning and enforcing attendance, requiring production of documents, receiving evidence and affidavits)The Tribunal may provide relief and compensation to victims, may order restitution of damaged property, restitution of environment. The Tribunal while passing orders/decisions apply principles of sustainable development, precautionary principle and ‘polluter pays’ principle.
The NGT began functioning in July 2011. Its first chairperson is Justice L S Panta (Retd from SC). The NGT will have 4 branches (Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai) in the country. India is only the third country to have a dedicated ‘green’ court (after New Zealand and Australia).
The National Green Tribunal Act 2010. moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/NGT-fin.pdf