Resignation of Judicial members from NGT makes Supreme Court unhappy with Central Govt.
Case in Supreme Court of India:-Union of India Vs. Vimal Bhai & others
Advocates Sanjay Parikh, Ritwick Dutta, Rahul Choudhary, Anitha Shenoy are appearing before the Supreme Court.
The matter of Union of India Vs. Vimal Bhai & ORS. on 13/05/2012 was heard by Hon'ble Mr. Justice G.S. Singvi and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya.
After hearing councel of the respondents, Shri Sanjay parikh and Additional soliciter Gernel of GOI. Court gave the order "We have perused additional affidavit dated 09.07.2012 filed by respondent No.1 and additional affidavit filed today by Shri Surjit Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi. We are extremely unhappy to note that two Judicial Members of the National Green Tribunal - Hon'ble Shri Justice C.V.Ramulu and Hon'ble Shri Justice Amit Talukdar have tendered resignation. Shri Sanjay Parikh, learned counsel for respondent No.1 gave out that the Judicial Members resigned because of the non-availability of functional facility and residential accommodation.
Learned Solicitor General and learned Additional Solicitor General assured that they will immediately take up the matter with the concerned authorities of the Government and make a statement on the date to be fixed by the Court on the issue of making available the housing accommodation to the Judicial Members of the National Green Tribunal.
In view of the statement made by the learned Solicitor General and the Additional Solicitor General, we deem it proper to request Hon'ble Shri Justice C.V.Ramulu and Hon'ble Shri Justice Amit Talukdar not to press for acceptance of their resignation for a period of one month. The concerned authority in the Central Government shall not accept their resignation till one week after the next date of hearing, which is fixed as 13.08.2012."
It is important to say that while GOI has accommodation for the Secretary,MoEF on the first day of his joining, they do not have proper place for the Honb'le Judges of the NGT.
In our additional afidavit we says that "It is pertinent to point out that the earlier the Hon’ble Chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (Hon’ble Justice L.S Panta) had resigned followed by the resignation of an Expert Member (Vijai Sharma). The deliberate delay in issuing the appointment letter to Hon’ble Justice R.V Ravendran despite his name being recommended by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Supreme Court only reveals that the union of India is not keen to ensure a fully functional Green Tribunal. The Respondent has reasons to believe that the resignation have been due to lack of basic facilities including residential accommodation being provided to the Judicial and technical members of the National Green Tribunal. It is an unfortunate state of affairs that the most important environmental court of India set up through an Act of Parliament is being rendered non functional due to lack of residential accommodation being provided to the members. Since the last one year the members of the NGT have been forced to stay in Government guest houses/ State Bhawans. This has adversely affected the dignity of office as well as effective judicial functioning. The act of the Central Government specially the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Ministry of Urban Development is aimed purely in ensuring that the National Green Tribunal is rendered non functional in the similar manner in which the National Environment Appellate Authority was made non functional. The prime reason is the due to the fact that the National Green Tribunal has been passing decisions which have not been favorable to the Central Government and the central Government is now being made more accountable for its decision concerning the environment and natural resources.
The continuing lack of basic facilities which includes residential accommodation, proper and dedicated staff and court premises is adversely affecting the administration of justice, the dignity of the Court and also shows that the government is not serious about environmental issues.