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Environment

Absence Of Judicial Member In Western Zone NGT, Mumbai High Court Seeks Response Of The State

Mariya Paliwala
3 March 2022 4:24 PM GMT
Absence Of Judicial Member In Western Zone NGT, Mumbai High Court Seeks Response Of The State
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The Goa Bench of Bombay High Court has sought for the response of the government on a PIL seeking to assign at least one judicial member who can function along with an expert member of National Green Tribunal (NGT).The division bench of Justice R.N.Laddha and Justice M.S.Sonak has proposed to consider the issue of interim relief. The petitioner has pointed out that presently the...

The Goa Bench of Bombay High Court has sought for the response of the government on a PIL seeking to assign at least one judicial member who can function along with an expert member of National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The division bench of Justice R.N.Laddha and Justice M.S.Sonak has proposed to consider the issue of interim relief.

The petitioner has pointed out that presently the Western Zone Bench of the NGT is left with only one expert member. There is no judicial member assigned to the Western Zone Bench. She clarifies that this is the position since January, 2022.

The petitioner referred to the order made by the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No.1235/2017, in which an interim order was made to restrain the Chairperson of the NGT from constituting a Single Member Bench instead of a Division Bench comprising of one judicial member and an expert member.

It was further submitted that presently only some matters are being taken up by the Principal Bench and access to the NGT is rendered most difficult. She submits that environment matters normally can bring no delay and if there is no appropriate forum to seek redressal, then, environment protection can be rendered a casualty.

"This is a fit case where this Court should consider granting interim reliefs, so that the Western Zone Bench is made fully operational. She submits that presently, the hearings before the NGT are being held virtually. She, therefore, submits that it would be easily possible to assign at least one judicial member who can function along with the expert member on the Western Zone Bench." the petitioner added.

"By the next date, we request the Respondents to submit their response, not only to the larger issues raised in this petition, but also on the aspect of interim relief," the court said.

Case Title: Goa Foundation Versus National Green Tribunal

Citation: P.I.L. Writ Petition No.4 Of 2022

Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Norma Alvares with Advocate Om D'Costa

Counsel for Respondent: Assistant Solicitor General of India Pravin Faldessai

ClickHere To Read /Download Order

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