Veena Gupta vs Central Pollution Control Board 2024 INSC 89 – NGT – Ex Parte Orders

National Green Tribunal – National Green Tribunal’s recurrent engagement in unilateral decision making, provisioning ex post facto review hearing and routinely dismissing it has regrettably become a prevailing norm. In its zealous quest for justice, the Tribunal must tread carefully to avoid the oversight of propriety. The practice of ex parte orders and the imposition of damages amounting to crores of rupees, have proven to be a counterproductive force in the broader mission of environmental safeguarding – It is imperative for the Tribunal to infuse a renewed sense of procedural integrity, ensuring that its actions resonate with a harmonious balance between justice and due process. Only then can it reclaim its standing as a beacon of environmental protection, where well-intentioned endeavors are not simply washed away. (Para 4-5)

Summary: Appeal against NGT’s ex parte order in suo motu proceedings holding the appellants to be guilty and directing payment of compensation – SC set aside the orders and remand the matter back to the Tribunal to issue notice to all the affected parties, hear them and pass appropriate orders.

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