New NGT rules can change its char­ac­ter

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

has no­ti­fied new rules for ap­point­ment and ter­mi­na­tion in the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT). The Tri­bunal, Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal and other Au­thor­i­ties (Qual­i­fi­ca­tions, Ex­pe­ri­ence and other Con­di­tions of Ser­vice of Mem­bers) Rules, 2017, were no­ti­fied by the Depart­ment of Rev­enue, Union Min­istry of Fi­nance on June 1. The rules change the com­po­si­tion of the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee that as­sists the gov­ern­ment in mak­ing ap­point­ments to NGT. They also change the cri­te­ria for qual­i­fi­ca­tion, com­po­si­tion and re­moval of chair­per­sons, ju­di­cial mem­bers and ex­pert mem­bers of NGT. The Cen­tre has in­tro­duced th­ese changes through the Fi­nance Act, 2017. Sec­tions 183 and 184 of the Act en­sure that ap­point­ment of NGT mem­bers and its se­lec­tion com­mit­tee will be con­trolled by the pro­vi­sions of this leg­is­la­tion. Ac­tivists have said that the new rules will change the char­ac­ter of NGT by em­pow­er­ing the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment to in­flu­ence ev­ery­thing in the institution while re­duc­ing the in­flu­ence of the ju­di­ciary.

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