How to file a Complaint in NGT?

How to file a Complaint in NGT?

Author: Anamika M J, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

The National Green Tribunal was established by the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forest and other natural resources and for the enforcement of legal rights relating to the environment. The tribunal is not bound by the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 but is guided by the principles of natural justice. The tribunal has the power to regulate its procedure based on the provisions of the National Green Tribunal Act. The tribunal while passing an order, decision or an award applies the principles of sustainable development, precautionary principles and the polluter pays principles.

Jurisdiction

The tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question regarding the environment is involved. Any person seeking relief and compensation from the environmental damage involving subjects in the legislations can file a complaint at the National Green Tribunal. Also, any person aggrieved by an order or a decision of appellate authority under the acts in the schedule I may file an appeal to the National Green Tribunal by the provisions of the Act. NGT adjudicates on matters coming under The Water (Control and Prevention of Pollution) Act, 1974, The Water (Control and Prevention of Pollution) Cess Act 1977, The Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, The Environment (Protection) Act 1986, The Public Liability Insurance Act 1971 and The Biological Diversity Act 2002.

When can claims be made

Schedule II of the Act discusses heads under which claims can be made. Under this, there are mainly 14 heads under which we can claim or in other words complain in the National Green Tribunal. It includes death, permanent, temporary or partial injury or sickness due to environmental destruction, damages to private property, expenses incurred by the government or any local authority for providing aid to the affected individual, claims on account of any harm to the flora and fauna and destruction caused to the environment by the use of any hazardous substance.

How to file?

The filing of petitions online helps the applicants to track the proceeding, the users have easy access to the cases and they will be able to know the status of the case through this portal. This also helps them to file their responses when the court seeks them.

The complaints can be filed offline and online. In an offline mode of application, the tribunal entertains letter petitions as well. To file an application seeking compensation the NGT has a simple procedure. For applications not involving compensation, a fee of Rs 1000 must be paid to the NGT while filing the case while for applications seeking compensation a fee which is one percent of the compensation claimed or a minimum of Rs1000 is to be paid.

On September 18, 2019, the National Green Tribunal launched the e-filing of the complaint in its official website. To file a complaint in this mode, the complainant does not have to go to the regional benches.

Step 1: Go to the official website of the National Green Tribunal https://greentribunal.gov.in/ and click the icon for e-filing.

Step 2: Click on the Applicant corner. 

We should first sign up as a user before filing the complaint.

Step 3: To file a complaint we can sign up as an individual, Advocate, or representative of a law firm, Institution, or Representative of the Government of India. Choose the appropriate designation and proceed.

Step 4: Fill in the required details in the boxes and click on submit to receive the password in the registered email address and mobile number.

Step 5: Using the username and password log into the application corner.

Step 6:  Click on the NGT button to proceed and agree to the terms and conditions to reach the User Account Home Page.

Step 7: To initiate e-filing, click on the petition store.

Step 8: Click on petition filing and fill in the details of the petition in the boxes and click on ‘save and next’ button to continue.

A reference number will be given after filling the basic details.

Step 9: Choose the petitioner type from the organization, individual and in-person and add the required details of the petitioner and click the ‘submit’ button.

Step 10: Choose the type of respondent from ‘organisation or ‘individual’ and add the details. Click the ‘submit’ button.

Step11: Fill in the details of the representative of the petitioner.

Step 12: Select ‘online’ to create and submit an application or select ‘offline’ to generate an offline application and convert it to pdf.

Step 13:  Add the required documents for the complaint and submit.

A final preview of the application will appear.

Step 14: Move on to the payment section and select the mode of payment. After selecting the mode of payment click on ‘save and continue’. The application is complete after the payment.

The filing of petitions online helps the applicants to track the proceeding, the users have easy access to the cases and they will be able to know the status of the case through this portal. This also helps them to file their responses when the court seeks them.

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