Justice Swatanter Kumar has taken over as chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), to decide on cases relating to environmental protection, and conservation of forests and natural resources.

Though Justice Kumar’s tenure as a Supreme Court judge is due to end next week, December 14 was his last working day and he assumed charge of the new office on December 20. He is the first Supreme Court judge to preside over the Tribunal which was, till now, functioning without a full-time chairperson.

Justice P. Jyothimani, a retired Judge of the Madras High Court, who has been appointed a judicial member of the NGT, assumed charge on Monday.