Supreme Court rules that the NGT can issue directions to prevent future damage to the environment
The Director General (Road Development) National Highways Authority of India v. Aam Aadmi Lokmanch & Ors.; Judgment dated 14 July 20201
A three judge bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (“Supreme Court”) comprising of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice V. Ramasubramanian has held that the National Green Tribunal (“NGT”) can pass general directions for appropriate assimilation in relevant rules in order to avoid or prevent injury to the environment. The Supreme Court also observed that NGT’s orders, contextually in the course of adjudication, also establish and direct behaviour appropriate for future guidance.
The Supreme Court further observed that NGT’s jurisdiction in one sense is a remedial one, based on a reflexive exercise of its powers and in another sense, a preventive one, based on the nature of the abusive practice. The Supreme Court also opined that an inference that NGT has circumscribed jurisdiction to deal with, adjudicate and wherever needed, direct measures such as payment of compensation or make restitutionary directions in cases where the violation are the result of infraction of any enactment listed in the first schedule of the NGT Act, 2010 is not warranted.
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