NGT National Green Tribunal
NGT National Green Tribunal
Litigation News

NGT Vacancies: Supreme Court takes note of "appalling" situation, directs Centre to notify all existing and anticipated vacancies at one go

The Court termed the Centre's submission that a notification for filling up nine vacancies at the NGT would be published by the end of July as being "not enough".

Debayan Roy

Taking note of the "appalling" situation with regard to the present strength of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Supreme Court has directed the Centre to notify all existing vacancies at one go, including the ones likely to arise in the next six months [NGT Bar Association (Western Zone) v. Union of India].

An order to this effect was passed today by a three-judge Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna.

The Court was informed by the Centre that a notification for filling up nine vacancies at the NGT would be published by the end of July.

However, the Bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar noted that it "was not enough."

The order reads,

"The Tribunal is presently functioning with the strength of only seven judges (one chairman, three judicial members and three technical members) despite the mandate of the Act to ensure that the minimum number of members shall not be less than 10 (ten). This is an appalling situation concerning the premier institution such as National Green Tribunal, which is required to deal with environmental issues. That cannot be countenanced."

Supreme Court

The Apex Court has further directed the Centre to notify all existing and future vacancies at one go, "not later than 10 days from today."

"That notification be issued not later than 10 days from today and whereafter the process for selection/appointment be expedited."

Further, until the selection process culminates with the appointment of new members as against the vacancies, existing members of the NGT who are likely to retire shortly shall continue to hold office, the Court ordered.

The matter will now be heard on August 13 for compliance.

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