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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June 20, 2019 How to file a complaint in National Green Tribunal (NGT)?

please share more info on filing procedure for ngt complants

Geetha on Jun 29, 2019

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

Robin on Jul 05, 2019

what is the fees for filing a complaint in ngt?

Prateek on Jul 11, 2019

very informative article on ngt complaints

Santhosh on Jul 03, 2019

how to calculate compensation?

Shiva on Jul 19, 2019

good work

Prashant on Aug 08, 2019

I have legal query. Who can I call?

Srinivasan on Jul 30, 2019

needed some more information on the subject.

Ashu on Aug 01, 2019

Helped a lot in understanding the law.

Sumit on Jul 21, 2019

Nice one.

Hitesh on Jul 10, 2019

needed legal advice…who to call

Swapna on Aug 11, 2019

good article. Can you give some more detail on the issue.

Ramesh on Jun 28, 2019

nice article. Thanks for the information

Devendra on Jul 21, 2019

needed more information on the law

Shashi on Jul 24, 2019

Excellent work. Very helpful for understanding the subject.

Vikas on Jul 25, 2019

more info needed on the law

Shobha on Jul 28, 2019

whom to contact for any legal query?

Bhavesh on Aug 07, 2019

thank you for the information

Sahil on Jul 31, 2019

Very helpful in understanding the law.

Siddharth on Jun 30, 2019

Detailed and informative.

Ayesha on Aug 12, 2019

who can I contact for my legal case?

Jyoti on Jul 13, 2019

very informative. Can you tell more about this

Vivek on Aug 02, 2019

Very helpful for my legal case.

Pallavi on Aug 12, 2019

its very helpful on the subject

Sharad on Jun 30, 2019