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Report No. 272

G. 186th Report of the Law Commission of India, 2003

4.13 On 'Proposal to Constitute Environment Courts' the Commission recommended that Environment Courts must be established to reduce the pressure and burden on the High Courts and the Supreme Court. It was however, recommended that these Courts will also have appellate powers against orders passed by the concerned authorities under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 with an enabling provision that the Central Government may notify these Courts as appellate Courts under other environment related Acts as well. The Commission also expressed an opinion that such a law can be made under Article 253 of the Constitution of India read with Entry 13A of List I of Schedule VII to give effect to decisions taken in Stockholm Conference of 1972 and Rio Conference of 1992.

4.14 It was further recommended that it will be a Court of original jurisdiction on all environmental issues and also an appellate authority under all the three Acts, viz., Water Act, Air Act and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and will reduce the burden of High Courts/Supreme Court. There will lay a statutory appeal directly to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the proposed Environment Court. On the question of appeal, it was recommended that:

'It is now proposed, as stated earlier, that there will be an Environment Court in each State (or group of States) and will have appellate jurisdiction. It will have appellate jurisdiction which is now being exercised by officers of the Government under the special Acts. Pending appeals under the Water (P&CP) Act, 1974, Air (P&CP) Act, 1981 and under the Rules framed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 must be transferred to the proposed Environment Court in each State and all future appeals must be filed in the said Court.'



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