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

हिंदी में पढ़ें
June 11, 2021
By Advocate Richa Relhan

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.

Consult:Top Civil Lawyers in India

??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.


Comments by Users

Pravin Patel
Yes we are facing problems of Mosquotos regulary due to living near Sabarmati river in which Grass is grew and what is dryed.

Reply by LawRato
If you are facing the issue of too many mosquitoes, you can file a complaint to the Municipal corporation of your respective city. A lot of municipal corporations also have official websites with grievance redressal portals where you can file a complaint online.


Dattatraya Devale
Payment of NGT Fees Bank Account Details please give

Dr G Ranganathan
Very useful kindly give examples for selecting petitioner and respondent types. Ex company, forum, association ...Can they be individual? Respondent....State Govt is it organisation?


Useful info about NGT

Saibal Betal
We are living in a dirty & unhealthy place, garbage are stuck day after day,

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

Abhinav on May 17, 2022

how to calculate compensation?

Siddharth on Apr 13, 2022

please share more info on filing procedure for ngt complants

Tanya on Apr 08, 2022

what is the fees for filing a complaint in ngt?

Prateek on May 08, 2022

very informative article on ngt complaints

Shailendra on Apr 23, 2022

nice work with the article.

Prem on May 15, 2022

great advice. Thanks

Meenu on May 19, 2022

thank you for the information

Radhika on May 14, 2022

thanks for the advice

Swapnil on May 20, 2022

Tells all the legalities about the subject. Good work.

Mansi on May 12, 2022

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

Kishan on Apr 17, 2022

needed a lawyer….what is the procedure?

Ayushi on Apr 17, 2022

excellent article. Very informative

Manoj on Apr 22, 2022

needed legal help…whom shall I contact?

Ashwini on Apr 21, 2022

Helped a lot in understanding the law.

Manju on May 04, 2022

Nice one.

Ramesh on May 21, 2022

nicely written. Great work

Shashi on Apr 07, 2022

it’s a very good article

Abhijit on May 19, 2022

Nicely written article. Very comprehensive.

Raja on Apr 24, 2022

nicely written

Kailash on Apr 23, 2022

thanks for the information

Anish on May 08, 2022

amazing article

Vandana on Apr 12, 2022

Very nice article.

Vaishali on May 17, 2022

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

Ritu on Apr 27, 2022