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  • Writer's pictureChambers of Daksha Kumar

NGT is subordinate to a high court; conflicting orders will cause anomalies: Supreme Court.

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

( Tribunals like NGT are subordinate to a high court; conflicting orders will lead to anomalous situation: Supreme Court )

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is a court that was created to protect the environment and resolve legal disputes involving environmental matters. This body was established on October 18, 2010 under the NGT Act, 2010.

The NGT is a subordinate body to a High Court, thus if there is a discrepancy between the High Court's decision and the NGT's ruling, the High Court's order will take precedence.

In a dispute involving the construction of a resort at Rushikonda Hill, close to Visakhapatnam, the Supreme Court overturned the National Green Tribunal's decision and upheld the ruling of the constitutional court.

The state decided to demolish the previous building in order to rebuild the resort at Rushikonda Hill, close to Visakhapatnam, with increased amenities. The new building will get acquire more space.

Hence a writ case was filed in opposition to it before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The Apex Court issued an interim order allowing the construction while it was answering the petition.

However, a letter written on the same issue by the Member of Parliament prompted the National Green Tribunal to begin proceedings against the case. The NGT forbade the resort's construction.

The challenge was deciding which order should be followed because the orders from the two bodies conflicted and led to an anomalous situation.

The state argued that the NGT could not receive the cognizance and take action for the same problem since the High Court was already considering it, the state challenged the proceeding in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court agreed with the argument and ruled that the NGT shouldn't get involved in the matter as the High Court was already hearing the case. The orders made by the constitutional body cannot be overridden by the tribunals because they are subordinate bodies.

As a result, the apex court nullified the NGT's proceedings and transferred the entire case to the High Court for suitable decisions. The bench went on to say that while economic growth is important, environmental preservation is also important.

Construction should only take place in the flat space and the location where the previous, demolished building used to depart, and not elsewhere.

The bench also questioned why the NGT accepts letters from legislators given this organization was specifically created for regular people who couldn't access the courts, not for the legislature.

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