The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will soon introduce a software that will allow a complainant to file petitions via email, its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said here Saturday. Goel, who was here to deliver a lecture at Gujarat National Law University, told reporters that this will also “help curtail unnecessary procedure” and orders will be passed quickly. “We are going to introduce a formal system permitting email petitions, which can be filed from anywhere in the country by paying court fee and complying with the rules,” he said.
Through the software, petitioner will be able to fill in details such as the nature of alleged environmental violation, evidence, information about alleged violator and the authorities responsible for taking action, he said. “The application will get registered. A number will be assigned….and immediately thereafter order will be passed, asking the responsible authority to take action, without the petitioner having to come to the tribunal,” he said. There is also a suggestion that a system should be developed to auto-generate orders, as in many other countries, Goel said.
The email petitioning system will help people in remote areas, as there would be no need to travel far to file a petition, he said. Even now, the tribunal receives complaints through emails and letters, he said. Such emails or letters are usually not in the form of a petition, still they are forwarded to NGT members if deemed fit for action, Goel said. With the new software, it would be easy to file online complaints in the proper petition format, he added. Giving details about functioning of the tribunal, he said it does not have its own investigating machinery.
When it receives petitions about violation of environmental laws such as dumping of effluents or illegal construction in eco-sensitive area, it directs the concerned statutory body to conduct inquriy and take action, he said. When dealing with larger issues, such as pollution of rivers or solid waste management, NGT members discuss the matter with experts and stakeholders in person or through video link, he said. A direction, if necessary, is passed and an oversight committee is constituted for monitoring its implementation, he said.