Madras high court stays NGT fiat to transfer cases to Delhi bench | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: An office order issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) registry, transferring all suo motu matters pending before regional benches of the NGT having pan India or interstate implications to its principal bench at Delhi, was stayed by Madras high court on Tuesday.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu passed the interim order on the plea moved by Meenava Thanthai K R Selvaraj Kumar Meenavar Nala Sanga.
The association alleged that such a move would adversely impact the access to justice, particularly of those who approach the tribunal’s Chennai bench.
According to the petitioner, the registry of the NGT passed an office order dated June 12 holding that suo moto matter having pan India or inter-state implications will be listed before principal bench having at least three members.
“The order is an attempt to usurp the jurisdiction or change the jurisdiction of various NGT benches. As per Section 4(3) of the NGT Act, only the central government vide notification may specify the territorial jurisdiction of NGT benches,” the petitioner said.
The order inter alia seeks to amend Rule 11 of the NGT Rules, which state that a bench will exercise jurisdiction over a matter where the cause of action has wholly or in part arisen within such bench’s territorial jurisdiction, and further seeks to make such an amendment through a simple office order or office memorandum, the association said.
The petitioner asserted that there is no supremacy granted to the principal bench in the act, the order attempts to grant such judicial supremacy to one bench over another which is wholly arbitrary, illegal, and ultra vires the scheme of law.
The jurisdiction of the principal bench in Delhi is restricted to the Northern Zone. There is no provision in either the Act or the Rules which enlarge the jurisdiction of the principal bench, it added.

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