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

हिंदी में पढ़ें
June 11, 2021
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Many of you would have heard of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and it has been observed thatpeople 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.

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/-.

What is the Jurisdiction of NGT?

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 legislation 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 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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??How to file a Complaint in NGT?

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 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 in 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 ‘organization 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 them.

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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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

4.6 - 22 reviews

please share more info on filing procedure for ngt complants

Shekhar on Jul 24, 2021

how to calculate compensation?

Shashank on Jul 03, 2021

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

Sudhakar on Jun 20, 2021

very informative article on ngt complaints

Senthil on Jun 30, 2021

what is the fees for filing a complaint in ngt?

Chetan on Jul 22, 2021

Very nice article. English is very simple. Thank you for the information.

Karan on Jul 25, 2021

A well written article.

Reena on Jun 16, 2021

thank you for the information

Chandra on Jul 20, 2021

good article. Can you share more detail

Sunitha on Jun 19, 2021

Had a good time reading the article.

Anoop on Jul 23, 2021

Good work with the article.

Samir on Jul 22, 2021

nice artcile

Rajesh on Jun 29, 2021

nice legal article.

Tarun on Jul 01, 2021

Gave me a very clear idea of the subject.

Sweta on Jul 11, 2021

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

Uday on Jun 19, 2021

good article. Very helpful

Komal on Jul 11, 2021

it’s a very nice legal article

Sourabh on Jul 10, 2021

thank you for the article

Indu on Jun 25, 2021

Excellent work. Very helpful for understanding the subject.

Seema on Jun 15, 2021

good work

Kavitha on Jun 12, 2021

Understood the subject with clarity.

Ashu on Jul 05, 2021

needed a lawyer….what is the procedure?

Vinayak on Jul 08, 2021