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Environmental Crimes and Filing a case against it

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by -Sreekarthik S Menon

Contents

Introduction

Types of Environmental Crimes

Some important environment protection laws

Courts dealing with environmental cases

Key Points About National Green Tribunal

Filing an Application or Appeal

Conclusion


Introduction

As we know, in today’s world, environmental conservation and protection have grave importance to sustain its resources for future generations. But to achieve this it is necessary to control or restrict humans from misusing these resources present in the environment.

” Criminal exploitation of the world’s natural resources affects our everyday lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe”. [i]

So everyone must know about the basic laws relating to the protection of the environment and also the basic procedures for filing a case.


Types of Environmental Crimes

Environmental crimes encompass a broad list of illicit activities, including:

● illegal trade in wildlife

● smuggling of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

● illicit dumping of hazardous waste

● illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing

● illegal logging and trade in timber and many more.


On one side, environmental crimes are increasingly affecting the quality of air, water, and soil, threatening the survival of species and causing uncontrollable disasters. On the other, environmental crimes also impose a security and safety threat to a large number of people and have a significant negative impact on development and the rule of law.[ii]


Some important environment protection laws

● The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

● The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

● The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

● The Environment Protection Act, 1986

● The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations

● The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

● The Forest Conservation Act, 1980


Courts dealing with environmental cases

The National Green Tribunal was established under The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases of environmental matters, and also it ensures the enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Presently The National Green Tribunal has been established in New Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bhopal, and Chennai. [iii]


Key Points About National Green Tribunal

● The Tribunal doesn’t need to follow the procedures under the Code of Civil Procedures; instead, they are guided by the principle of natural justice.[iv]

● The Tribunal doesn’t need to follow the rules of evidence stated in the Indian Evidence Act,1872.[v]

● But The Tribunal must follow and apply these three principles while passing any order/award/decision :

1. Sustainable Development

2. Polluter Pays

3. Precautionary Principle [vi]

● The Tribunal has the power to regulate its own procedure.[vii]

● The Tribunal hears all the civil cases relating to Environment protection and conservation. And also they hear cases regarding the implementation of the below mentioned laws :

1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977

3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.[viii]

Filing an Application or Appeal

Nowadays filing an application or an appeal is really simple as it is done online through the official website of the National Green Tribunal. For applications not involving a claim for compensation, a fee of Rs 1000 must be paid to The National Green Tribunal while filing the case. On the other hand for applications involving a claim for compensation the fee is one percent of the compensation or a minimum of Rs 1000 is to be paid.


An application claiming compensation or relief must be made within five years from the date the cause for claiming such compensation happened.

Any person aggrieved by the award, decision, or order of The Tribunal, can file for an appeal to the Supreme Court within ninety days from the date of communication of the said award, decision, or order of The Tribunal. Generally, after the period of ninety days, the Supreme Court will not entertain the appeal. But, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented from filing the appeal then the Supreme Court may entertain it.[ix]



Conclusion

Thus, to fight against the crimes that are done towards the environment we must approach the Judiciary for an effective outcome. So it is only fitting that everyone should know about the basic procedures of filing a case at the National Green Tribunal and also to know about its basic features to help protect our environment within our capabilities.

[i] [i] Quoted from https://www.interpol.int/en/Crimes/Environmental-crime [ii] http://www.unicri.it/topics/environmental [iii] https://greentribunal.gov.in/about-us (last visited on April 07,2021) [iv] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , s.19(1) [v] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , s.19(3) [vi] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , s.19(3) [vii] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , s.19(3) [viii] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , Schedule I [ix] The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010(Act 19 of 2010) , s.22 For Reference: https://www.conservationindia.org/resources/ngt

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3 Comments


Sherif Mohamed
Sherif Mohamed
Jun 29, 2021

Good work Mr.Sreekarthik S Menon👍

Like

Glito Davis
Glito Davis
Apr 13, 2021

Nice Work🙌

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Replying to

Thank You!😄

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