NGT is not an excessive case of delegation of powers to the Central government, SC holds

The Parliament did not excessively delegate power to the Centre by authorising it to establish the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Supreme Court held in a judgment on Wednesday.

The NGT is a “unique” institution established for enforcement of environmental rights protected under the Right to Life.

“The NGT came into existence as a sui generis institution established for the enforcement of environmental rights emanating from Article 21 of the Constitution... NGT was not an excessive case of delegation of powers to the central government,” a Bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy observed in the judgment.

Justice Roy, who authored the judgment, said the NGT does not “oust” High Courts’ jurisdiction. The High Courts derive their jurisdiction from the Basic Structure of the Constitution. The judgment upheld the direct appeal to the Supreme Court under Section 22 of the NGT Act. It held that the mechanism of appeal was “intra vires the Constitution of India”.

The judgment was based on a petition filed by a group of lawyers claiming that appeals from NGT directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the High Courts, denied litigants access to a tier of courts.

The court further said the seat of the NGT Benches could be located as per exigencies and it was not necessary to locate them in every State.

The court rejected the petitioners’ plea to relocate the Bhopal NGT to Jabalpur. The petitioners had argued the Bhopal Bench of the NGT was “located arbitrarily”.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 9:04:29 am |