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Supreme Court gives ministry a deadline for appointment of expert members to NGT

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Supreme Court gives ministry a deadline for appointment of expert members to NGT:


The Supreme Court has directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) to hasten the process of pending appointments to vacancies in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It has given four weeks for the process.

What’s the issue?

The petitioners had submitted that appointment of expert members are still pending before the appointment committee since September.

About NGT:

  • Established on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • Established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four places of sitting of the Tribunal.
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

With the establishment of the NGT, India became the third country in the world to set up a specialised environmental tribunal, only after Australia and New Zealand, and the first developing country to do so.


Sanctioned strength: The act allows for up to 40 members (20 expert members and 20 judicial members).

Chairman: Is the administrative head of the tribunal, also serves as a judicial member and is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.


  1. Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews.
  2. The Judicial members are chosen from applicants who are serving or retired judges of High Courts.
  3. Expert members are chosen from applicants who are either serving or retired bureaucrats not below the rank of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India (not below the rank of Principal Secretary if serving under a state government) with a minimum administrative experience of five years in dealing with environmental matters. Or, the expert members must have a doctorate in a related field.


Prelims Link:

  1. About NGT.
  2. Composition.
  3. Functions.
  4. Key judgements.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of NGT.

Sources: the Hindu.