(Rushikonda Hills) National Green Tribunal is subordinate to the High Court : Supreme Court

National Green Tribunal
National Green Tribunal

New Delhi:  The Top Court today set aside a National Green Tribunal order prohibiting construction work at Rushikonda hills in Visakhapatnam, saying orders of constitutional courts would prevail over statutory tribunals.

A vacation bench of Justices BR Gavai and Hima Kohli said it was not appropriate for the NGT to proceed when the high court was seized of the matter.

The Supreme Court said the National Green Tribunal is subordinate to the high court in so far as territorial jurisdiction is concerned. The conflicting orders passed by the NGT and the high court would lead to an anomalous situation. The authorities would be faced with difficulty with which orders to follow. In such a case orders from the Constitutional court would prevail over statutory tribunals.

“Thus the continuation of proceedings before the NGT for the same which is also seized with the high court cause of action cannot proceed in the interest of justice. We, therefore, quash and set aside the proceedings before the NGT,” the bench said.

The top court, however, said though development is necessary for the development of a nation but it’s equally necessary to safeguard the environment to preserve a pollution-free environment for future generations.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government, submitted that the NGT is a tribunal and subordinate to the high court with respect to territorial jurisdiction and thus continuation of proceedings before the NGT despite HC order is not sustainable in law.

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