On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to take up a petition challenging the Bombay High Court’s full bench decision holding that the establishment of a special bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Delhi was unlawful.
Senior Attorney Dushyant Dave raised the issue, arguing that the NGT had lost all of its authority, and a Bench presided over by Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit scheduled the matter for hearing on October 17.
On September 21 of this year, a full bench of the Bombay High Court, which was made up of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justices GS Patel and MS Sonak, quashed and set aside five administrative notices that had been issued by the Principal Bench of the NGT, which had formed a special bench in Delhi for the country’s four zones of Eastern, Central, Western, and Southern.
The High Court then decreed that only the Western Zonal Bench might hear cases involving the Western Zone, including those originating in Goa and Maharashtra.
The NGT alluded to NGT Act provisions, which specified that the Chairperson of the Tribunal could divide up business among the tribunal’s members. In any case, the special bench’s creation was only temporary and done for convenience.
The submissions, however, did not persuade the High Court.
There is, no question of any administrative exigency in having matters — unknown, unspecified and with no clarity — being selectively taken and cherry-picked for listing before any so-called Special Bench,It was held