NGT moves to spacious premises in Delhi, gets additional bench

The National Green Tribunal is getting a new address as it shifts to the spacious Faridkot House in Lutyens Delhi on its third foundation day.

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is getting a new address as it shifts to the spacious Faridkot House in Lutyens Delhi on Friday on its third foundation day.

Apart from the new address, the NGT`s Principal Bench would also be getting an extra bench to share the case load which is currently handled by two benches operating from small makeshift arrangements at two separate locations in South Delhi.

The new premises, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, was allocated after the intervention of the Supreme Court which directed the government to shift the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which was occupying the premises.

The NHRC was expected to shift to its own building in January 2013, but it moved only recently and the delay resulted in prolonging NGT`s wait for a new office.

The shifting of the NGT comes more than a year after the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to allot Faridkot House to the tribunal which has been working out of temporary and makeshift arrangements at a forest guest-house in South Delhi, and a floor in Trikoot House of Bhikaji Cama Palace, ever since its inception in 2010.

The move would be beneficial for lawyers and litigants alike as all the benches would be under a new roof and would be nearer to the apex court and the Delhi High Court.

The infrastructure and accommodation issues faced by the tribunal members-judicial and expert-and the staff as well as setting up of additional benches has been closely monitored by the apex court whose active involvement and warnings to the government is responsible for setting up of three additional benches at Chennai, Bhopal and Pune, in that order, apart from the Principal Bench at Delhi.

The Pune bench began functioning from August 8 after several warnings from the apex court which had directed that the bench be made functional from August 1.

Kolkata is yet to get a bench as the West Bengal government has not satisfied the NGT or the apex court with the accommodation and infrastructure arrangements made by it.

The apex court has already warned the state that if it does not provide satisfactory arrangements, the bench would be shifted to either Ranchi or Guwahati.