Activities of Policy and Law Division and Futre Plan
Policy and Law Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change handles mainly the following subjects:
Policy and Law (P&L) Division deals with the administration/ establishment matters of the National Green Tribunal (NGT); framing of NGT Recruitment Rules/ Amendments in the NGT Act and NGT Recruitment Rules; coordination with the Ministry of Law & Justice and handling of court cases in the Supreme Court of India, various High Courts and NGTs.
National Green Tribunal Act 2010:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was set up on 18th October, 2010 under the NGT Act, 2010, for the purpose of effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
The Tribunal has five places of sitting i.e., the Principal Bench at New Delhi and Zonal Benches at Pune, Kolkata, Bhopal and Chennai.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of India was appointed as Chairperson, NGT w.e.f. 06.07.2018. At present, there are six Judicial Members in the NGT and a total of four posts for Judicial Members are lying vacant in the Tribunal. At present, there are four Expert Members in the NGT and a total of six posts for Expert Members are lying vacant in the Tribunal.
Judicial Members of the Tribunal are drawn from Judiciary while Expert Members are experts in physical and life sciences, engineering and technology including persons having practical experience and/ or administrative experience in the field of environment and forests.
Legal Monitoring Cell:
For effective monitoring of court cases in the Ministry, a Legal Monitoring Cell had been set up under P&L Division. Court cases are being monitored with the help of centralized Legal Information Management & Briefing System (LIMBS) developed by Ministry of Law & Justice, by regular updation of the status of all Court cases pertaining to the Ministry in the LIMBS portal. This platform provides information on the status of all Court Cases wherein the Ministry is one of the Parties.
The Policy & Law Division is also responsible for performing the following functions:
- (i) Appointment of the Chairperson, Judicial and Expert Members in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as per minimum sanctioned strength.
- Engagement of professionally qualified and competent Counsels to represent the Ministry before the Principal Bench of NGT and its Zonal Benches at Pune, Kolkata, Bhopal and Chennai and review their empanelment periodically. The process for fresh empanelment of Counsels is underway.
- Monitoring of uploading of all the Acts and Subordinate Legislations of the Ministry in the India Code Portal. The Ministry has successfully completed mapping of Subordinate Legislations (Rules, Notifications, Regulations, and Orders etc.) to each Section of the Principal Act, administered by the Ministry in the India Code Portal.
- To review the major Acts implemented by the Ministry of EF&CC, being undertaken by the Agency M/s J. Sagar Associates (JSA) in order to assess and identify gaps and redundancies in light of modern-day environmental challenges and to suggest mechanism for better monitoring, compliance and enforcement of these Acts. Meetings/ interactions are being held on regular basis by the Working Group and Sub-Groups in the MoEF&CC for assistance and providing inputs to M/s JSA.
- Effective monitoring of the court cases in the Ministry, with the help of centralized Legal Information Management & Briefing System (LIMBS) developed by Ministry of Law & Justice, by regular updation of the status of all Court Cases pertaining to the Ministry in the LIMBS portal. Legal Information Management & Briefing System (LIMBS) has been fully implemented in the Ministry which is monitored by Cabinet Secretariat regularly. This platform provides information on the status of all Court Cases wherein the Ministry is one of the Parties.
- To move forward the Ecomark Scheme to decide the products to be taken up for labelling as environment friendly and to formulate the strategies for the promotion and future development of the scheme. The Division has been working with UN-PAGE Plan, in coordination with IC Division on strengthening the overall framework for Eco labelling in India, including assessment framework, institutional structure and refining the existing eco-label program for identified consumer products.
- Work relating to setting up of Benches of NGT at Delhi, Bhopal, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata.