The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Justice AK Goel as new Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT). He will have tenure of five years from date he assumes office or till he reaches age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. His appointment comes after he retired as Supreme Court Judge.
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel
Justice Goel had enrolled at Bar in 1974. He had practised before Punjab & Haryana High Court for 5 years and Supreme Court and Delhi High Court for about 22 years. He was elevated as judge of Punjab & Haryana High Court in 2001 before being transferred to Guwahati High Court in September 2011, where he became Chief Justice in December 2011. He was then transferred as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court in October 2013. He was elevated to Supreme Court in July 2014.
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
The NGT was established in 2010 under National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources. It draws inspiration from Article 21 of Constitution of India, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
NGT is guided by principles of natural justice and not bound by procedure laid down under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. It is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing. New Delhi is Principal Place of Sitting NGT. Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are zonal sitting benches of tribunal.
Functions: It specialises in adjudicating on matters relating to environment, forests and harm to people or property due to neglect of environmental obligations of infrastructure projects. It is equipped with necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues. It also includes enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith.
It adjudicates matters and environmental cases related to Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991; Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
Composition: It consist of full time chairperson (retired judge of Supreme Court of India or Chief Justice of High Court), judicial members and expert members. The minimum number of judicial and expert member prescribed is 10 in each category and maximum number is 20 in each category. The chairperson may invite any person or more person having specialized knowledge and experience in particular case before the tribunal to assist the same in that case.