Supreme Court upholds validity of National Green Tribunal : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court upholds validity of National Green Tribunal

Supreme Court upholds validity of National Green Tribunal

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the validity of Section 3 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, which empowers the Union Government to establish the NGT and ruled out a plea to have tribunal's branches in every state and union territory. - File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the validity of Section 3 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, which empowers the Union Government to establish the NGT and ruled out a plea to have tribunal’s branches in every state and union territory.

Direct appeals do not undermine HCs

Provision of appeal directly in the apex court against an NGT order is intra vires and doesn’t oust the HCs’ power under writ jurisdictions. SC Bench

A Bench led by Justice KM Joseph said it was not a case of excessive delegation of power to the government. “The National Green Tribunal under Sections 14 & 22 of the NGT Act does not oust the High Courts’ jurisdiction under Article 226 and 227 as the same is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution,” said the Bench, which also included Justice Hrishikesh Roy.

It rejected the plea to transfer the seat of the NGT’s Madhya Pradesh Bench from Bhopal to Jabalpur, saying Benches were created as per exigencies.

The remedy of direct appeal to the Supreme Court under Section 22 of the NGT Act was intra vires the Constitution, it said. The verdict came on a petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association, challenging Section 3 of the NGT Act. The petitioner had contended that the provision gave the Centre excessive and unchecked powers to notify NGT seats/Benches without sufficient consultations with Chief Justices of High Courts, Union Cabinet or the President, as is the constitutional norm for other such decisions related to the judiciary.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had submitted that the NGT was created on the recommendations of the 186th Law Commission Report, which mentioned the aspect about direct appeals to the top court. The remedy to HCs remained available and the Sections in this regard were thus not in violation of the basic structure of the Constitution.

The bar body had also sought a branch of NGT in all 28 states and eight UTs. Justice Roy said there were 2,237 pending cases in five NGT branches. “With the low caseload, if the NGT Benches are set up in all states and UTs, the judges and other members in these forums might be left twiddling their thumbs. Accordingly, no basis is seen to allow one NGT Bench in every state,” the verdict said.

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