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Apex Court to decide in Nov city NGO's plea on NGT jurisdiction

DH News Service, New Delhi, Aug 19 2017, 2:01 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed for a detailed consideration of a plea by a Bengaluru-based NGO, questioning the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) jurisdiction to decide validity of a law.


“To set aside a provision of a law as ultra vires of the Constitution is not within jurisdiction of law,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud observed, while putting for hearing in first week of November a special leave petition filed by NGO Environment Support Group against 2013 Karnataka High Court judgement.


The NGO had sought declaration that Section 40 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 was illegal and unconstitutional. It challenged a notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest under the law, saying it would seriously prejudice the national interest and biodiversity of certain species of plants and herbs.

The high court, however, had held that the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 was expressly covered by Schedule-I and the Tribunal constituted under the National Green Tribunal Act. So, the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to decide all substantial questions relating to enforcement of any legal right arising out of implementation of the Act and settle such disputes.

Advocate Nikhil Nayyar, representing the NGO, contended before the bench, “How can a Tribunal consider validity of a law?”

Representing the National Bio-diversity Authority, senior advocate Aditya Sondhi submitted that it was not open for the litigants to directly approach the high court even in cases where they question the vires of statutory legislation by overlooking the jurisdiction of the Tribunal concerned. “Except vires of the parent law, the challenge to all others provisions can be decided by the National Green Tribunal,” he said.

DH News Service

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