Can NGT Entertain An Application Which Is In The Nature Of PIL, SC Asks NGT To Decide

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Can NGT Entertain An Application Which Is In The Nature Of PIL, SC Asks NGT To Decide 

The Supreme Court has asked National NGT to decide whether it can entertain applications which is in the nature of Public Interest Litigation. 

The SC bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice AM Khanwilkar was considering an SLP filed against Bombay High Court order. The said High Court disposed a writ petition filed against NGT order by real estate builder and had asked tribunal to lay down the concept of “aggrieved person’ and also whether NGT can entertain application as nature of PIL which is otherwise maintainable in High Court and Supreme Court of India. 

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The division bench of the high court observed: “The issue raised in these Petitions is of considerable with importance and the same is likely to affect large number of cases which may be filed before NGT. On the one hand, it is essential to ensure protection of environmental rights as laid down under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and other Acts mentioned in Schedule-I of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and therefore the extent and scope of power which may be exercised by NGT has to be considered in detail on the touchstone of the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and other Statutes including the Constitution of India. Secondly, the question of limitation also needs to be decided in view of the peculiar manner in which the period of limitation is prescribed under Section 14 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. In view of the peculiar wording of the said section, correct interpretation of the said provision is necessary, firstly in order to ensure that those who violate the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 do not get away scot free and, at the same time, applications are not filed belatedly after the entire project is completed. The third question which is equally important is: whether NGT can entertain an application which is in the nature of PIL, though the words used in the section are that “on a complaint filed by a person aggrieved, NGT can entertain an application”. The exact connotation of the words “person aggrieved” is the is therefore required to be looked into.” 

The Bombay High Court does not decide the said issues but directing NGT to consider a matter afresh. 

The Supreme Court  disposed of the Special Leave Petition filed by Cavelossim Villagers Forum with a direction to the tribunal to pass appropriate orders in terms of the observations made by the Bomaby high court. 

Source: Live Law .

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