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National Green Tribunal (NGT)

05 May 2016

With his Art of Living Foundation (AoL) yet to pay the major chunk of "environment compensation" for its cultural fest on the Yamuna floodplains, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was on Thursday slapped with a contempt suit for "alleged disrespect shown by him to the orders of National Green Tribunal (NGT)".

11 March 2016

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday gave three weeks to Art of Living (AoL) to pay environmental compensation of Rs 5 crore for holding World Culture Festival on the Yamuna floodplains in Delhi, after AoL’s leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had said in TV interviews he’d rather go to jail than pay the fine.

The NGT held a hearing on Friday over implementation of its Wednesday’s order (read the order and analysis of the order here).

AoL told the tribunal that it will abide by the ruling and sought four weeks to deposit Rs 5 crore.

The tribunal said that the AoL should pay Rs 25 lakh on Friday and the balance in three weeks.

The AoL’s three-day cultural extravaganza starts on Friday.

The organisers have already spent Rs 25.63 crore on the event.

09 March 2016

In an order, which reads like admission of helplessness, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today declined to prohibit the holding of multi-crore World Culture Festival (WCF) organized by the Art of Living Foundation on the flood plains of the river Yamuna, after two days of hectic hearing of the parties concerned.

12 January 2016

The legislature and judiciary have been mostly aligned in spirit. Judges have been some of the most sympathetic towards environmental causes in recent years, developing a young environmental jurisprudence.

15 September 2015


A Delhi university law student has asked the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to help curb the rampant misuse of paper in Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) elections which violate Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.

05 June 2014

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) cannot take any action against retired Supreme Court (SC) justice and National Green Tribunal (NGT) head Swatanter Kumar in the sexual harassment complaint against him, as the charges are from when he was an SC judge, the MoEF told the SC, reported the Express.

The MoEF relied on the precedent set in the case of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson and former chief justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan, and also sought deletion of its name as a party in the case of sexual harassment filed by Kumar’s former intern against him.

01 April 2014

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has published a call for interns. Law clerks should be graduates from a recognised university and will be paid Rs 25,000 per month, while law interns will be students pursuing a law degree who "would not be paid any remuneration and shall be exposed to the learning experience in the field of environment issues and shall be awarded Merit Certificate at the conclusion of the internship".

Law clerks or interns will have to work for at least six months to get issued the certificate, but their posting can be terminated at any time without notice or reason, according to the invitation. "Any ethical breach" by an intern or clerk would be "viewed seriously and will entitle [sic] the Law Clerk / Law Intern from receiving the certificate", with breaches, "if it becomes necessary", being "reposted to the Bar Council" if they are enrolled.

Clerks or interns will not be able to appear before the bench to whom they are attached for one year after concluding their tenure. The NGT has two currently active benches with former Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar as chairman. [Notification with job description]

11 February 2014

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) asked solicitor general Mohan Parasaran if National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson Swatanter Kumar can face removal proceedings based on treating the SC sexual harassment petition against him as “written complaint”, reported the Indian Express.

An ex-intern of the former Supreme Court justice had filed a petition in the SC for action against Kumar, alleging that he had sexually harassed her during her internship with him. The NGT Act empowers the MoEF to remove Kumar from the post of chairperson if it is found that he has “abused his position so as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to public interest”.

However, the government can only initiate removal proceedings after receiving a written complaint against the chairperson. The SC has not yet given any opinion on the ex-intern’s allegations.

06 January 2014

Bombay HC new judges
The Bombay HC got five new additional judges today in lawyers Vinay Manohar Deshpande, Ajey Gadkari, Nitin Sambre, Girish Kulkarni and B S Colabawalla [PTI]

NGT not HC-enough for suo motu
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has no power to take cognisance of cases on its own, said the Madras HC, restraining the NGT’s southern bench from suo motu cases [TOI]

Costly NLUD fees are fine, says HC 
Dismissing a student’s plea against NLU Delhi’s fee structure and compulsory residential university status which is otherwise not mandatory under BCI rules, the Delhi HC said comparing the university with any old engineering college will be like comparing apples with oranges [PTI]

The SC has given the go ahead for initiating trial court proceedings against former Punjab & Haryana HC judge Nirmal Yadav for the cash-at-judge’s-door scam [Indian Express]

Chamber allotment struggles
The Rohini District Court Lawyers Allotment Committee allegedly arbitrarily denied allotment of a chamber to a disabled advocate despite him not only fitting all eligibility criteria but there also being a quota for the physically challenged in the court. The Committee has now assured the Delhi HC to give the advocate a fresh hearing [PTI]

Irresponsible executive criticism of #377
Chief justice of India P Sathasivam decried as irresponsible the statements of four union minister’s criticising the apex court’s judgment re-criminalising gay sex. “Except making our displeasure we can’t do anything. Though the statements are not appreciable we are not inclined to entertain the petition," he added while dismissing a social activist’s petition seeking disqualification for the four ministers on the ground that through their statements they “violated the secrecy of oath” [NDTV]

CBI to probe false allegations against judge
The CBI may soon probe the case of lobbyist TG Nandakumar who sent a letter to the Supreme Court Chief Justice and others falsely claiming that Madras HC judge C.K. Abdul Rahim had SIMI connections and close links with crime syndicate leader Dawood Ibrahim [Deccan Chronicle]

UK lawyers go on strike over legal aid cuts
In first-ever boycott of work, barristers (and solicitors) of England and Wales didn’t turn up to court for a half-day to protest a 30 per cent slash down in legal aid fees. “The legal aid dispute has become more polarised as the MoJ attempts to portray criminal lawyers as overpaid fat cats” -criminal lawyers disagree, reported The Guardian

Back to court-kindergarten
The Madras HC has launched a course titled “Redefining Legal Practices” for advocates with at least a 10 year PQE to teach them court craft, drafting and arguments [TOI]

Krishna Iyer J on JAC
Former Justice Krishna Iyer argues that the judicial appointments commission (JAC) must be totally independent and immune to legal proceedings in The Hindu

Kerala bar suspends colleague over sexism post
Before being suspended by the Calicut Bar Association, she wrote on her Facebook wall that male colleagues “address women as ‘sugar candy’ ‘dear’ and follow them with comments such as ‘you are so beautiful’ and the like. All of them follow the ‘Prem Nazir’ style of old Malayalam films. They dont seem to be familiar with newer films. It’s the same old way of making women either lovers or sisters; destroying them either by ‘caring’ for them or ‘keeping’ them. I pity all those who follow such a style.” [Kafila / India Today]

30 September 2013

Judge’s litigation debut: 88-year-old ex-judge-turned-litigant KS Puttaswamy, who obtained the SC's restraining order recently against the linking of state benefits to the UID scheme, chats to the Hindu on why for the first time in his 50-year legal career he felt the need to petition a court [Hindu]

Indian-American judge: Indian-born Sri Srinivasan has now been sworn in as a judge of the second most powerful US court - The US Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia circuit [PTI]

GLC Karnataka: Karnataka’s fifth Government Law College has been inaugurated in North Karnataka at Martur village. The other four are in South Karnataka [Deccan Chronicle]

Poor NGT: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which has jurisdiction over four states and a union territory, lacks the resources to provide legal aid to litigants. A large chunk of the applications before the NGT are from the poor, sources tell the New Indian Express

Child marriage circular: The Kerala government has clarified that its 27 June 2013 circular directing local bodies to register all child marriages that were solemnised before 13 June 2013, was not a license for child marriage but a way to ensure that those married before that date are not deprived of marital benefits. Child marriages are still punishable in the state under the Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006 [Hindu]

16 September 2013

Happy 90th RamJet: Ram Jethmalani, at his birthday party yesterday, tried to broker peace between BJP’s NaMo and LKA, speculated NDTV and others

Anti-rape education: SC advocate Karuna Nundy argues that only solution to rape pandemic are structured government-led education efforts [CNN]

NGT to go Kochi: A National Green Tribunal bench in Kerala would be set up ‘soon’, reported The Hindu

06 August 2013

NGT bans sand mining: The National Green Tribunal banned the practice of sand mining from riverbeds without the environment ministry’s clearance, complying with a 2012 order of the Supreme Court and responding to the suspension of young IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal who had conducted a drive against the sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh [Mint]

CJI overtaker, arrested: A man in Coimbatore was arrested after overtaking the wrong car – the one driving the chief justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam around town, escorted by team of cops [NIE]

Sweeping new SEBI powers: Former SEBI executive director Pratip Kar discusses how SEBI’s July 18 ordinance giving it sweeping powers has provided it with the right machinery to play catch-up with errant companies who’re always ahead in the game [BS]

Parental marriage consent, precedent: Political party leader S Ramadoss used the Karnataka HC’s 2011 judgment requiring parental consent for love marriages by girls under 21 years of age, to buttress his argument for an amendment to that effect in the Hindu Marriage Act. Ramadoss said that the HC had explained the “untold misery and hardship” of parents of teenage girls falling in love, reported the [Hindu]

Political parties v RTI: Citizen groups in various parts of India are protesting against the government’s move to amend the RTI Act to exempt political parties from its purview. The other alternative available to the government was to file for a High Court stay on the Central Information Commission’s June order that had directed six national political parties to appoint a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) under the Act [HT]

BCI enforces norms on university: After the Bar Council of India (BCI) reportedly found that only five full time faculty were available for 1,200 students at the Rajasthan University’s law college, instead of the UGC-devised 1:20 teacher-student ratio, it disallowed the university’s repeated pleas to begin the 2013 academic session, forcing admitted students to leave for other colleges [TOI]

21 March 2013

NGT website: Hacked The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was granted a budget of Rs 6 crore ($1.1m) this year.

20 March 2013

NGT-RTI-page-1National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) 2012-13 budget: Rs 6 crore.

24 November 2012

The new law minister Ashwani Kumar has asked the new Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir to look again at ex-CJI SH Kapadia’s nomination of sitting Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar for chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Kabir faces the choice of either confirming Kapadia’s decision or to put forward a new name to head the potentially powerful tribunal, which is currently headed up by acting chairperson Justice AS Naidu. Swatanter Kumar’s nomination had attracted media attention, as well as contempt of court proceedings of two newspapers [Economic Times]

20 September 2012

Supreme Court: Upholds free press, with delaysThe Supreme Court served the newspapers Indian Express and Daily Pioneer with a suo moto contempt notice for allegedly misreporting court proceedings in stories published in the papers today about sitting Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar’s recommended appointment to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).