National Green Tribunal: A Guardian of Environmental Justice
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National Green Tribunal: A Guardian of Environmental Justice

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is a specialized body established on 18th October 2010, under the NGT Act of 2010. It serves as a judicial body specifically dedicated to resolving environmental disputes that involve multi-disciplinary issues. The NGT replaced the National Environment Appellate Authority and draws inspiration from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

Key Facts about the National Green Tribunal

Let's explore some key facts about the NGT:

  1. NGT Establishment: The NGT was established on 18th October 2010.
  2. NGT Chairman: As of 2022, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel serves as the Chairman of the NGT.
  3. NGT Headquarters: The NGT is headquartered in New Delhi.
  4. Constitutional Status: The NGT is not a constitutional body but rather a specialized judicial body established under the NGT Act, 2010.
  5. Challenging NGT Decisions: The decisions of the NGT can be challenged before the Supreme Court within 90 days.
  6. Official Website: The official website of the NGT is

Functions of the NGT

The NGT has been vested with several crucial functions to ensure the protection and conservation of the environment. Some of the key functions of the NGT are:

  1. Hearing and deciding cases: The NGT has the authority to hear and adjudicate cases related to environmental issues and disputes. It has the power to provide relief and compensation to victims of pollution and environmental damage.
  2. Enforcement of environmental laws: The NGT has the power to enforce various environmental laws, regulations, and orders. It ensures that individuals, industries, and government bodies comply with environmental standards and norms.
  3. Reducing the burden on the judiciary: The NGT aims to reduce the burden on the regular courts by taking up cases related to environmental matters. It provides an efficient and specialized forum for addressing environmental disputes.
  4. Promoting sustainable development: The NGT endeavors to strike a balance between environmental protection and development. It promotes sustainable development practices and ensures that economic activities do not harm the environment.

Structure of the NGT

The NGT consists of both judicial and expert members who collectively work towards achieving its objectives. The structure of the NGT is as follows:

  1. Chairperson: The NGT is headed by a Chairperson who is a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court. The Chairperson is appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
  2. Judicial Members: The NGT also comprises judicial members who are experienced judges from the High Courts or those qualified to be judges of the High Court.
  3. Expert Members: Expert members of the NGT possess specialized knowledge and experience in environmental matters. They are appointed based on their expertise in fields such as environmental science, ecology, and related disciplines.
  4. Benches: The NGT consists of multiple benches located across different regions of the country. These benches hear cases specific to their respective jurisdictions.

Jurisdiction of the NGT

The NGT has been granted wide jurisdiction to deal with various environmental issues. Its jurisdiction includes:

  1. Civil cases: The NGT can hear civil cases related to environmental matters, including disputes arising from the implementation of environmental laws and regulations.
  2. Criminal cases: The NGT has the power to take cognizance of offenses and prosecute individuals or entities involved in environmental crimes such as pollution, illegal mining, and deforestation.
  3. Appeals: The NGT hears appeals against orders, decisions, or directions issued by authorities under various environmental laws.
  4. Disputes: The NGT resolves disputes between government bodies, public authorities, and private entities concerning environmental issues.
  5. Relief and compensation: The NGT can grant relief and compensation to victims of pollution and environmental damage.

Significance of the NGT

The establishment of the NGT has brought about several significant changes in the environmental governance framework of India. Some of the key aspects that highlight the significance of the NGT are:

  1. Specialized expertise: The NGT comprises members with expertise in environmental science and related fields. This ensures that cases related to environmental issues are handled by individuals with the necessary knowledge and understanding.
  2. Efficient dispute resolution: The NGT provides an efficient and specialized forum for resolving environmental disputes. Its streamlined procedures and dedicated focus on environmental matters help in expediting the resolution of cases.
  3. Reduced burden on regular courts: By taking up cases related to environmental issues, the NGT helps in reducing the burden on the regular courts. This allows the regular courts to focus on other pressing matters.
  4. Promotion of environmental justice: The NGT plays a crucial role in promoting environmental justice by ensuring that victims of pollution and environmental damage receive adequate relief and compensation.
  5. Environmental awareness: The NGT's decisions and judgments create awareness among the general public about environmental issues and the importance of environmental protection.

Recent Cases and Initiatives

Over the years, the NGT has handled numerous cases and taken various initiatives to protect the environment. Some notable recent cases and initiatives include:

  1. Yamuna River Cleaning: The NGT has been actively involved in monitoring and overseeing the cleaning and restoration of the Yamuna River. It has directed authorities to take necessary steps to prevent pollution and ensure the rejuvenation of the river.
  2. Air Pollution Control: The NGT has taken strict measures to control air pollution in Delhi and other major cities. It has directed the implementation of measures such as banning the use of firecrackers and controlling vehicular emissions.
  3. Industrial Pollution: The NGT has taken action against industries causing pollution and environmental degradation. It has imposed penalties and directed the closure of industries that fail to comply with environmental norms.
  4. Waste Management: The NGT has played a significant role in promoting proper waste management practices. It has directed local bodies and authorities to ensure effective waste segregation, recycling, and disposal.


The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has emerged as a vital institution in India's environmental governance framework. Its specialized focus on environmental matters, efficient dispute resolution mechanisms, and promotion of sustainable development make it a crucial institution for protecting and conserving the environment. Through its decisions and initiatives, the NGT continues to contribute towards creating a healthier and more sustainable future for India.

For the latest updates on environmental issues and legal matters, visit LegalStix Law School, a platform dedicated to providing comprehensive information on various legal topics.

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