How to file a complaint in National Green Tribunal (NGT)?

हिंदी में पढ़ें
June 20, 2019
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Many of you would have heard of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and it has been observed that people are becoming more and more aware about the Green Laws and  their Rights. This short primer explains how, when and where to approach the NGT.

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National Green Tribunal

The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, passed by the Central Government. The stated objective of the Central Government was to provide a specialized forum for effective and speedy disposal of cases pertaining to environment protection, conservation of forests and for seeking compensation for damages caused to people or property due to violation of environmental laws or conditions specified while granting permissions.

The NGT has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to the implementation of laws listed in Schedule I of the NGT Act. These include the following:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;

  • The Water (Prevention and Control 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, 1991;

  • The  Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

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This means that any violations pertaining only to these laws, or any order / decision taken by the Government under these laws can be challenged before the NGT. Importantly, the NGT has not been vested with powers to hear any matter relating to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and various laws enacted by States relating to forests, tree preservation etc. Therefore, specific and substantial issues related to these laws cannot be raised before the NGT. You will have to approach the State High Court or the Supreme Court through a Writ Petition (PIL) or file an Original Suit before an appropriate Civil Judge of the taluk where the project that you intend to challenge is located. This can be done with the help of a civil lawyer

The NGT follows a very simple procedure to file an application seeking compensation for environmental damage or an appeal against an order or decision of the Government.  

For every application / appeal where no claim for compensation is involved, a fee of Rs. 1000/- is to be paid. In case where compensation is being claimed, the fee will be one percent of the amount of compensation subject to a minimum of Rs. 1000/-.

When can a claim for compensation be made?

A claim for compensation can be made in the following scenarios:

  • Relief/compensation to the victims of pollution and other environmental damage including accidents involving hazardous substances;

  • Restitution of property damaged;

  • Restitution of the environment for such areas as determined by the NGT.

  • No application for grant of any compensation or relief or restitution of property or environment shall be entertained unless it is made within a period of five years from the date on which the cause for such compensation or relief first arose.

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Principles of Justice adopted by NGT

The NGT is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice. Further, NGT is also not bound by the rules of evidence as enshrined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Thus, it will be relatively easier (as opposed to approaching a court) for conservation groups to present facts and issues before the NGT, including pointing out technical flaws in a project, or proposing alternatives that could minimize environmental damage but which have not been considered. While passing Orders/decisions/awards, the NGT will apply the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principles. However, it must be noted that if the NGT holds that a claim is false, it can impose costs including lost benefits due to any interim injunction.

Common Issues in the National Green Tribunal include matters pertaining to Environmental Clearance, Forest Clearance, Mining, Forest Conservation , Coastal Zone Regulation , Cutting of trees, Illegal Constructions , Industrial Pollution and other Pollution issues. Any individual on either side of the forum i.e. A conservationist or be the one summoned by the Tribunal can avail remedies by being represented  through their legal representative . It should not be  misunderstood that the object of Green Laws in our Country and the aim  of the Tribunal is to regularize the functioning and not bar or cause hindrance for Common People, Entrepreneurs ,Industrialist etc.


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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User Reviews

4.8 - 21 reviews

how to calculate compensation?

Samir on Oct 27, 2019

please share more info on filing procedure for ngt complants

Surender on Nov 06, 2019

very informative article on ngt complaints

Ganesh on Nov 03, 2019

how to check the status of complaint on national green tribunal webpage?

Swati on Nov 15, 2019

what is the fees for filing a complaint in ngt?

Dheeraj on Nov 23, 2019

I have a case. Who can I contact?

Ashish on Oct 26, 2019

A well written article.

Aishwarya on Nov 15, 2019

Very good article

Anita on Nov 17, 2019

how to contact a lawyer?

Ranjan on Nov 10, 2019

nice legal article.

Uday on Dec 01, 2019

solved my queries.

Devendra on Nov 28, 2019

needed some more information on the subject.

Jitender on Nov 26, 2019

informative with the law.

Archana on Nov 23, 2019

it’s a very good article

Laxmi on Nov 12, 2019

thanks for the info. How can we contact a lawyer?

Ankur on Nov 12, 2019

whom to contact for any legal query?

Harsh on Nov 30, 2019

Nice piece on the subject.

Kajal on Dec 02, 2019

good article and easy to understand

Rajni on Nov 12, 2019

nice work with the article.

Vaishali on Nov 19, 2019

I have legal query. Who can I call?

Manjeet on Nov 24, 2019

very good article. Can you tell me more about the law?

Archana on Oct 19, 2019