National Green Tribunal (NGT) vested with Suo Motu Jurisdiction

National Green Tribunal (NGT) vested with Suo Motu Jurisdiction

Recently, the Supreme Court has retained the power of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to take suo motu cognizance.

The apex court has rejected the contention that the NGT cannot act of its own accord or exercise the power of judicial review or act suo motu in the discharge of its functions.

It is noteworthy that NGT has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 to implement Article 21 regarding the environment.

It is well known that the right to a healthy environment is part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

It is the public responsibility of the NGT to initiate action, if necessary, to protect the fundamental right to clean environment. Further, procedural laws should not hinder its functions.

Due process establishes the rights, duties and responsibilities of individuals. Procedural law establishes the methods, practices and manner in which court proceedings are conducted.

For example, in the case of NGT, being unable to act suo motu due to procedural lapses may compromise the fundamental rights (right to environment).

The wider societal concerns to be addressed by the NGT have prompted the Court to opt for objective interpretation.

An objective approach to statutory interpretation involves considering the purpose of legislation or legislation (in this case it is the protection of the environment).

Source – The Hindu

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