Inside a quiet attempt to hobble the National Green Tribunal

How the central government, in a mostly unnoticed report by a ministerial group late last year, tried to curb the independent green court’s powers.

In October 2010, India set up a dedicated environmental court with an ambitious mandate. Officially named the National Green Tribunal, or NGT, it was tasked with the responsibility to provide “speedy environmental justice” by adjudicating cases relating to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources, as well as providing relief and compensation to people adversely affected by industrial accidents. It started with four regional branches across the country and a principal bench in the national capital.

This was a momentous decision—only two other countries in the world (Australia and New Zealand) had such a specialized environmental court at …


Akshay Deshmane

Akshay is an investigative reporter and former writer at The Morning Context. Based in Delhi, he writes about the environment, public policy and economy from the lens of the pulls and pressures of an ambitious democracy. Akshay uses the right to information extensively for reporting stories of vital public interest. Over the past decade and more, he has worked for HuffPost India, Frontline, The Economic Times, Down To Earth and DNA.