New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Friday to reply to a plea seeking appointment, on a "war-footing", of judicial and expert members for the NGT benches across the country to ensure that polluters are reined in from spoiling the environment.
A bench comprising justices N V Ramana and Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the government on a plea which has sought directions to all the high courts to take up environmental matters till all the National Green Tribunal benches are fully functional.
Apart from that, the petition, filed by West Bengal native Subhas Datta, has also urged the apex court to direct the tribunal not to go for video-conferencing to take up matters of zonal benches.
Datta, in his plea, has claimed that method of video-conferencing was "ineffective" due to "disruptions of the satellite connectivity" as well as poor audio and visibility.
He has contended that it was the need of the country to have an NGT bench in all the states and Union Territories as against the present total of eight main benches and four circuit benches.
The petition has contended that while more benches were needed, the present ones were not taking up matters due to lack of sufficient judicial and expert members.
"Due to non-acting of all the existing NGT benches the polluters are getting mileage and, in the process, they are spoiling the environment flora, fauna, forests, bio-diversity and coastal zones of the country," it has said.
It has further said that after setting up of the NGT, high courts had stopped hearing environmental matters and therefore, presently the only judicial forum to deal with such issues was the apex court.
The plea has alleged that the authorities have not taken appropriate steps to appoint adequate number of judicial and expert members for the NGT. PTI HMP ABA SA
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI