IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
SUKHDEV VIHAR RESIDENTS WELFARE
ASSOC. and ORS. ..... Petitioners
Through: Shri Arvind Nigam, Sr. Adv. with
Mr. K.K.Rohtagi, Ms. Divya Bansal and Mr. Bhuvnesh Sehgal, Adv.
STATE and ORS. ..... Respondents
Through: Mr. Nazmi Waziri, Adv. for GNCTD and NDMC.
HON'BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN
O R D E R
The writ petition concerns environmental issues covered under Schedule-I of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. By virtue of the said Act, particularly, Section 14, 29, 30 and 38(5), the matter concerning environmental issues covered in Schedule-I shall now be dealt
with by the National Green Tribunal and decided under the said Act. The said issue came to be considered by the Apex Court in Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan vs. Union of India, (2012)8 SCC 326. Insofar as the fresh cases are concerned, the Apex Court had directed that all matters instituted after coming into the force of NGT Act, i.e. on 18th October, 2010 shall stand transferred and fresh cases can be instituted only before the NGT. Insofar as the cases pending trial at the time of coming into force of the said Act, as is the present case, the Apex Court directed that the Court may be well-advised to transfer such cases to NGT in its discretion. For a better appreciation, we quote paras 40 and 41 of the said judgment:
40. Keeping in view the provisions and scheme of the National Green
Tribunal Act, 2010 (for short the NGT Act ) particularly Sections 14,
29, 30 and 38(5), it can safely be concluded that the environmental
issues and matters covered under the NGT Act, Schedule 1 should be
instituted and litigated before the National Green Tribunal (for short
NGT ). Such approach may benecessary to avoid likelihood of conflict of
orders between the High Courts and the NGT. Thus, in unambiguous terms,
we direct that all the matters instituted after coming into force of the
NGT Act and which are covered under the provisions of the NGT Act and/or
in Schedule I to the NGT Act shall stand transferred and can be
instituted only before the NGT. This will help in rendering expeditious
and specialized justice in the field of environment to all concerned.
41. We find it imperative to place on record a caution for consideration
of the courts of competent jurisdiction that the cases filed and pending
prior to coming into force of the NGT Act, involving questions of
environmental laws and/or relating to any of the seven statutes specified
in Schedule I of the NGT Act, should also be dealt with by the
specialized tribunal, that is the NGT, created under the provisions of
the NGT Act. The Courts may be well advised to direct transfer of such
cases to the NGT in its discretion, as it will be in the fitness of
administration of justice.
In our opinion, the issue raised in this petition being covered under Schedule-I of the Act, we deem it appropriate to transfer the same to National Green Tribunal for adjudication. In fact, there is no opposition for such direction, be it the appellant or the respondent. The parties agree that the issue of jurisdiction will not be raised before the Tribunal.
The Registry is directed to transfer this writ petition to the National Green Tribunal for adjudication. The interim order granted on 15.9.2010, shall continue till such time the same is considered by the Tribunal and the appropriate orders are passed. The petition should be
transferred in a week s time so that it can be placed before the Tribunal for consideration in a week s time thereafter.
V.K. JAIN, J
JANUARY 23, 2013