NGT’s power to make Suo Motu aware of environmental issues confirmed: Khaitan & Co.

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In a recent decision of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai against Ankita Sinha et al., A bench of three judges of the Supreme Court of India held that the National Green Tribunal has the power to take cognizance of environmental matters, even although the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 does not expressly confer this power on it.

The judgment was rendered in a batch of related cases with the same issue – whether the NGT has the power to exercise suo motu jurisdiction in the performance of its duties under the NGT Act.

The Court ruled that the NGT, which guarantees the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, “even in the absence of a request, may initiate action either towards the improvement. or towards the prevention of damage ”.

At the same time, he clarified that the suo motu jurisdiction of NGT would be subject to the principles of natural justice and fair play – before making an adverse order, a possibility of hearing should be offered to a party likely to be affected by the order of NGT. .

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